The Banana Splits Movie (2019)


Directed by Danishka Esterhazy [Other horror films: N/A]

Tra-la-la la-la-la-la-la-la, tra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la

I didn’t go into this movie with high hopes, though I sort of knew what to expect. I’ve seen a lot of hype about this on Twitter, and read somewhat lukewarm reaction to it (which the current IMDb rating of 5/10 seems to bear out), and so I found it surprising that The Banana Splits Movie is one of the funnest films I’ve seen in awhile.


This movie consistently cracked me up. It seems to me to be a mix of the video game Five Nights at Freddy’s (which I’ve played a handful of times in the past) and the new Child’s Play movie (robots going wild, anyone?).

Cast-wise, I don’t think The Banana Splits Movie does much wrong. It’s true that the main kid, played by Finlay Wojtak-Hissong, was a bit generic (though he does have a few touching scenes with Snorky), but the other young kid, Maria Nash, was amusingly snarky (snarky, not Snorky, for she has no trunk). Romeo Carere was funny as a burnout teen, and he has great dialogue with Naledi Majola (who I also particularly liked).

Kiroshan Naidoo and Celina Martin’s characters were a bit too odd for me to really get into, and Steve Lund played a complete dick, but Dani Kind did great as the mother, and got really kick-ass toward the end. Lastly, kudos to Richard White, who cracked me up with his role here.

There’s a lot of painful imagery in this movie, including a very unfun-looking broken finger (or perhaps multiple broken fingers), a guy sawed in half (TAA-DAA!), a dude getting ran over by a banana buggy, and perhaps my favorite sequence, a man who gets his arms and legs torn off in front of a bunch of children. Certainly, in this department, The Banana Splits Movie has a lot going for it.

I had a lot of fun with this, definitely more fun than I was expecting. The humor was present, but it was never too over-the-top, and under the outlandish imagery of giant animal robots going wild and killing people, trapping kids and forcing them to watch gruesome murders, the movie’s a lot darker than you might expect, especially with such a catchy song.

God bless Snorky, by the way. He’s the real MVP here.

Tra-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, tra-la-la-la-la-la-la.


The Mangler (1995)

The Mangler

Directed by Tobe Hooper [Other horror films: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Eaten Alive (1976), The Dark (1979), Salem’s Lot (1979), The Funhouse (1981), Poltergeist (1982), Lifeforce (1985), Invaders from Mars (1986), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), Spontaneous Combustion (1990), I’m Dangerous Tonight (1990), Night Terrors (1993), Body Bags (1993, segment ‘Eye’), The Apartment Complex (1999), Crocodile (2000), Shadow Realm (2002), Toolbox Murders (2004), Mortuary (2005), Djinn (2013)]

This is a poor movie, and the fact it runs for an hour and 45 minutes does little to help it out.

Based on a short story by Stephen King that’s no longer than ten pages, The Mangler brings to us the story of an evil laundry folding machine. If the movie took itself a bit less seriously, it may have turned out okay too. But no. Director Tobe Hooper kept this movie serious, and while goofy acting by Robert Englund may make one question that conclusion, throughout the film, little humor is present.

The main characters are fine enough, but not overly enthralling. And some of the gore is good also, which is only a plus. But things don’t work together – the plot twist at the end seemed to be thrown in there, and just doesn’t strike me as overly realistic. The movie’s quite simply not good, and while I’ve not seen it in years before this rewatch, I recall not caring for it much then either. For good reason.